We’ve all been there whether we admit to it or not. You’re on one of those trips where nothing seems to be going right. You finally make it to the airport and have just enough time to grab a quick bite to eat.
You pay, grab your food and make the half-mile long hike to your gate. You sit down with just enough time to eat and realize you were not given any utensils.
Now, what are you going to do? How are you going to eat that bowl of chili (which might be a bad choice for a flight)? Well, luckily, you keep a handy travel utensil in your Secondary EDC. You whip out your trusty spork and all is saved.
Let’s take a minute to discuss some things to consider when picking a travel eating utensil and why you should carry one. We will also give you our top five picks to save the day when you are out and about.
5 Considerations when picking a travel eating utensil
When it comes to utility, you have to decide what functions you want the utensil to serve. Do you just need a fork, a spoon or both … Or, do you want to have a knife at your disposal as well? Be sure to pick one that will serve you “most” of the time.
We are quite fond of the spork. Half spoon and half fork … what’s not to love. Keep in mind, this is something you will be using in a pinch. It doesn’t have to fit the form and function of something you would put out at dinner.
Most of the utensils that fit into this genre are extremely lightweight. However, if you’re counting ounces, every little bit counts. Weight can be an important consideration, but depending on the need, saving weight means you are compromising in another area such as strength/durability or functionality.
A spoon with a 2-inch handle can be a booger to use in that hot bowl or “bag” of chili.
Size is another important consideration. Questions to ask yourself when looking at size options:
- How large are your hands? Even with larger hands, a smaller eating utensil can be tolerated if you’re using it for back-up or emergency situations
- What will you be using it for? If you’re headed out on a backpacking trip and want one utensil for all cooking/eating tasks, you may want a larger size
- How will it be packed or carried? If you’re storing it in a lightweight backpacking cook set, in a vehicle overland setup, in your Secondary EDC pocket organizer, in a drawer at work, a carry-on bag for airline travel … etc.
If you buy a quality product, you more than likely don’t have to worry about the durability.
It’s easy to fall prey to this, thinking that you can save some money and buy a cheap fork/spoon/knife or even taking plasticware from the grocery store. Three bites in, and snap, that spoon breaks in half and you are utensil-less (if that’s a word).
Do yourself a favor and spend a few extra dollars to make sure you have what you need when you need it.
Material is another important factor for some folks and when it comes to EDC, some people are very particular. Maybe you like the ultra-lightweight and compactness of a plastic-eating utensil; however, it just doesn’t “go” with your EDC gear. Maybe it doesn’t have the right look. Maybe you need something to complement that all titanium EDC. Have no fear, there are several options to choose from when it comes to material.
With those in mind, which eating utensil is right for you?
5 Best eating utensils
In no particular order, let’s take a look at our top five eating utensils, which are great options for hiking, backpacking, overlanding, camping, fishing, airline travel, or just kept in your Secondary EDC, ready for when you need it.
FolditFlat Unitensil Folding Knife, Fork and Spoon, $10
The FolditFlat Unitensil is the result of a very practical twist on the tried and true version of a traditional spork. However, they have also creatively added a cutting edge to the fork end of this utensil. Weighing in at 0.17 oz., you barely even know it’s there.
The creative design allows this utensil to fold flat when in transport and is easily carried in its travel sleeve or in your Secondary EDC. The Unitensil is TSA compliant, so there’s nothing to worry about when boarding your next flight. This product is proudly made in the USA.
Light My Fire Spork Titanium, $15
The Light My Fire Titanium Spork is constructed of one of the toughest alloys on the planet and it has a polished surface that prevents any metallic taste. The fork end of this spork is serrated you give you a cutting edge when needed.
This highly heat resistant material will not melt when exposed to hot boiling water and the Light My Fire Titanium Spork is TSA compliant. Grab one and add it to your EDC for those “just in case” moments.
humangear GoBites Uno, $4
The humangear GoBites Uno eliminates the need to have a spoon/fork (“spork”) combo on one end of the utensil, which makes it a great option for those who find that a spork doesn’t work for them. This dual-head design includes a fully functioning spoon that is deep enough to use with a bowl of soup. The tines of the fork are long enough to twirl spaghetti.
The high-temp nylon construction can be exposed to temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The Uno is 6.5″ long and has a u-shaped head orientation that makes it comfortable to hold. The Uno is TSA compliant.
Vargo Folding Spork, $16
The Vargo Titanium Folding Spork is lightweight and compact. Its unique folding design allows it to be folded to a compact 3.3″ length for easy storage. This is also handy for backpacking as it allows the Folding Spork to be stowed in small pots or cups to save space.
Once unfolded and the locking mechanism is secured, the Folding Spork measures in at 6.3″ long. Just make sure you securely fasten the locking mechanism or it can possibly fold-up on you. The Vargo Folding Spork would be a great addition to an EDC or for your backpacking or backcountry needs. The Folding Spork is TSA compliant.
Vargo Spoon, Knife, Fork Set ULV (Ultra-Light Version), $22
If you are one of those that prefer to have a full set of eating utensils for those “formal” on the road moments, the Vargo Spoon, Knife, Fork Set ULV is just for you. This ultra-light utensil set features a complete set of titanium utensils that would be right at home with the rest of your EDC gear. All the utensils in this set are a full 6″ long and feature a matte finish to help provide a good grip, even when wet. The utensils are held together by an included mini titanium carabiner and can be individually removed for ease of use.
Be sure to remove the knife from this combo prior to flying as it may be deemed to be non-TSA compliant by some screeners. Only plastic or rounded butter knives are allowed on commercial aircraft in the USA.
Having a simple, unobtrusive tool like one of the options above can make a huge distance when those rare occasions pop up. If you are on the road a lot, travel regularly, or have kids who may need something to eat with after dropping their utensils on the ground, you will find one of the tools to be very handy. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it.
Do you carry an eating utensil with you when you travel? If so, which one do you recommend?